Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan thinks criticism of safety Jairus Byrd unwarranted

Advocate file photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --   Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is relying on a new scheme and new faces to revamp the Saints defense.

Rob Ryan thinks the criticism Jairus Byrd received for not being on the field during the first three weeks of the season was unwarranted. The New Orleans Saints safety was working his way back from a knee injury that kept him sidelined throughout the summer, and, as Byrd said last month, the situation was beyond his control. “It’s not his fault he’s… Continue reading →

Saints running back Khiry Robinson fined $8,000 for riding football like a horse

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints running back Khiry Robinson (29) gets flagged by side judge Tom Hill (97) for celebrating his touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015.

Khiry Robinson won’t be celebrating this. The Saints running back was fined $8,681 after he tucked the ball between his legs and swung his arm in the air like he was riding a horse. The celebration came after he scored from the 1-yard line during the third quarter. New Orleans won the game, 26-20. Earlier in the week, Robinson tweeted a picture of… Continue reading →

Underhill: Why Brandin Cooks hasn’t gotten off to the start many expected

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks (10) hauls in a pass against Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones (24) during the fourth quarter Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints lost 27-10.

Perhaps the expectations were always unrealistic. Coming out of training camp, it looked like Brandin Cooks was going to run roughshod over the NFL. After a pair of joint practices with New England, Patriots coach Bill Belichick exclaimed that he’s “glad we don’t have to play him twice a year” and comparisons to Pittsburgh’s 5-foot-10 receiver Antonio… Continue reading →

Banding together

For the first time in a decade, the Saints are using wristbands to speed up the communication from coach to player.… Continue reading →

Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis is eager to face Eagles fans, see how well they throw eggs

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis (21) returns to the field against the Dallas Cowboys after missing several weeks due to injury in the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015.

After playing 18 snaps last week in his first game back from injury, Keenan Lewis could see a bigger role this week. But while the New Orleans Saints cornerback is likely excited about that possibility, he’s also eager to see how well Philadelphia Eagles throw eggs. The last time the Saints played in Philadelphia, Lewis said the team buses were egged several… Continue reading →

Saints Injury Report: Terron Armstead misses second straight day; Tim Lelito, Thomas Morstead did not practice

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints tackle Terron Armstead (72) reacts to the dwindling seconds of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals as the Saints lost 27-10 in a NFL football game in the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014.

The New Orleans Saints’ best offensive lineman may not be available for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Left tackle Terron Armstead, who injured his left knee in the second quarter against Dallas, did not practice for the second day in a row, according to the official injury report the team submits to the NFL. Armstead underwent an X-ray on his left… Continue reading →

Saints using wristbands to speed up play calling in third-down situations

For the first time in a decade, the Saints are using wristbands to speed up the communication from coach to player. Luke McCown wore a wristband on his left arm against the Carolina Panthers, and when Drew Brees returned against the Dallas Cowboys, the Saints’ long-time starter continued the practice. New Orleans coach Sean Payton likes the time the Saints can save… Continue reading →

Saints wide receiver Marques Colston, defensive tackle Kevin Williams take planned day off Wednesday

. Wide receiver Marques Colston and defensive tackle Kevin Williams were given the day off Wednesday. On the injury report, both players were listed as being held out of action for non-injury reasons. On Thursday, coach Sean Payton explained that their absences were planned days off. “We were talking about it the other day, we were watching the tape.… Continue reading →

Chat replay: Answers to your biggest Saints-Eagles questions

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints running back C.J. Spiller (28) celebrates his gaming winning touchdown with New Orleans Saints defensive end Tavaris Barnes (90) against the Dallas Cowboys in overtime in the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015.

The New Orleans Saints head to Philadelphia on Sunday to take on the Eagles at noon. With a win, the Saints return home with a 2-3 record ahead of showdown next Thursday night at home vs. the Atlanta Falcons. With a loss, the Saints limp home at 1-4 to face Atlanta. How big is the game? Did the defense really make strides… Continue reading →

C.J. Spiller reaching out to flooding victims

C.J. Spiller was born and raised in Florida. But he spent four years in South Carolina at Clemson, and as he watched the coverage of the flooding that has gripped South Carolina since Hurricane Joaquin pushed torrential rains on the state, Spiller felt like he had to do something. Spiller decided he had to help. The… Continue reading →

Hau’oli Kikaha’s motor, skills and ability to learn have the Saints rookie linebacker off to a fast start

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Saints outside linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha sacks Dallas Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden on Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Sometimes even Hau’oli Kikaha’s teammates can’t believe how much effort he puts into every moment and play that takes place during a game. He does a lot of things well. The sacks and run stuffs are impressive. But what stands out most about the second-round linebacker is simply how hard he plays each week. “It’s not talked about… Continue reading →

Drew Brees told the Saints to take him off of this week's injury report: 'I don't like being on there'

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- In overtime New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws for his career 400th touchdown Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, to beat the Dallas Cowboys 26-20 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

. Drew Brees is tired of talking about his throwing shoulder, the bruised rotator cuff that kept him out against Carolina and all things related to the injury. Brees doesn’t even like to see his name on the team’s official injury report. ”I’m full (participant in practice),” Brees said. “Listen, I told the trainers and Sean to take me off the… Continue reading →

Saints sign veteran offensive tackle Tony Hills

The New Orleans Saints have signed veteran offensive tackle Tony Hills, a source told The Advocate. Hills, 30, has played for four teams in six NFL seasons. Drafted out of Texas in 2008 by Pittsburgh, Hill spent three years with the Steelers, then saw time with the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos and played in three games with the Dallas Cowboys last… Continue reading →

Ten things you might not know about the Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia leads the all-time series with the Saints 15-11, but 12 of the games have been decided by a touchdown or less. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

. The New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles have plenty of connections ranging from Eagles returner Darren Sproles to Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who is the son of former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan. The Eagles, like the Saints, have had a frustrating season resulting in a 1-3 record. But what are 10 things… Continue reading →

Saints release receiver Joe Morgan, make practice squad moves

The New Orleans Saints have released veteran wide receiver Joe Morgan, according to the NFL’s transactions wire. Morgan, who was cut in the Saints’ initial purge down to 53 and brought back after the season-opener, had been used sparingly in three weeks on the 53-man roster. The veteran played 10 snaps against Tampa Bay, then did not see the field against Carolina… Continue reading →

Former Miami Dolphins punter Brandon Fields signs with New Orleans Saints

. Former Miami Dolphins punter Brandon Fields is one of the punters working out for the New Orleans Saints today, according to his agent. Fields, 31, is a veteran of eight seasons in Miami who earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2013. In those eight years, Fields has averaged 46.8 yards per punt and a 38.6 net average, but he… Continue reading →

Lewis: Monday mornings much more manageable after thrilling win

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Quarterback Drew Brees came up big in Sunday's 26-20 overtime win over the Cowboys at Mercedes-Benz Superdome, finally giving Saints fans something to cheer about this season.

The sky’s a little bluer. The grass is a little greener. The coffee smells better. Even having going to work on Monday morning isn’t so bad. Yes, when the Saints win for the first time this season, especially on Sunday night in dramatic fashion in overtime against the team not… Continue reading →

C.J. Spiller announces presence in New Orleans with game-winning touchdown catch in overtime

New Orleans Saints running back C.J. Spiller (28) reacts after scoring the game-winning touchdown in overtime of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. the Saints won 26-20.  (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

C.J. Spiller had been forced to bide his time. New Orleans signed Spiller as a prize free-agent acquisition, theoretically a perfect fit in a Saints offense that seemed to fit Spiller’s unique talents better than any of the offenses for which he’d toiled in Buffalo. But Spiller remained something of a mystery as New Orleans headed… Continue reading →

'This rarely happens': Saints quarterback Drew Brees joins elite 400 club in unforgettable fashion

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- Saints quarterback Drew Brees, left, and running back C.J. Spiller celebrate the game-winning touchdown in the Saints' 26-20 overtime win over the Cowboys on Sunday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The touchdown was the 400th of Brees' career, making him the fastest (205 games) in NFL history to reach the mark.

Drew Brees found himself thinking about No. 400 on Sunday night. Fifteen years into his career, Brees finds himself surpassing major milestones on a fairly regular basis these days. Early in the first quarter, Brees found Josh Hill on a short touchdown pass for the 5,000th completion of his career, a barrier only Brett… Continue reading →

Saints will work out punters with Thomas Morstead battling quad strain

The Saints are now dealing with an injury to their punter. Thomas Morstead was held out of action during the second half of Sunday’s win over the Dallas Cowboys due to a strained quad suffered during a kickoff, coach Sean Payton told WWL radio Monday afternoon. “His injury should come along just fine,” Payton said. It appears there is some concern regarding the… Continue reading →

Saints pleased to get Jairus Byrd, Dannell Ellerbe, Keenan Lewis back in lineup

. The New Orleans Saints were encouraged by the presence Jairus Byrd, Keenan Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe brought to the defense on Sunday night. Now that the trio is back in the lineup, the Saints will begin to increase the workload for all three players. New Orleans limited their involvement in order to fulfill the first priority: Getting Byrd,… Continue reading →

Quarterback Drew Brees 'fine' after Saints' win over Cowboys, coach Sean Payton says

. Drew Brees is no worse for the wear the day after making his first start since suffering a bruised rotator cuff against Tampa Bay. Brees, who completed 33-of-41 passes for 359 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and the game-winning 80-yard strike to C.J. Spiller, felt good on Monday morning, according to his head coach. “I think aside from… Continue reading →

A look at Saints snap counts: C.J. Spiller’s workload rising, Willie Snead’s role expanding

. Slowly but surely, C.J. Spiller‘s role in the New Orleans offense appears to be expanding. Spiller took 21 snaps against Dallas, six more than he’d taken against Carolina, and flashed a few glimpses of what he can do on the perimeter, particularly on the game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass. The Saints also might be developing a new pecking order… Continue reading →

Struggling offense no help as Cowboys’ defense wears down

New Orleans Saints strong safety Kenny Vaccaro flies over the back of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

This was not the 47-points, 40-first downs, 625-yards pounding the Dallas Cowboys defense endured in their last visit to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome two years ago. To Dallas cornerback Mo Claiborne, it was worse. “Any time you lose it hurts,” the former LSU standout said in the gloom of the Cowboys locker room after the Saints’ stunning… Continue reading →

Saints coach Sean Payton on late missed field goal: 'We're going to have to start going for two'

The Saints have issues with field goals and extra points all season. They missed one due to a poor Zach Hocker kick, another on a botched hold, and then missed another kick at the end of regulation during Sunday’s 26-20 overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys from 30 yards out. The kick not only rattled the left upright. It also rattled coach… Continue reading →

Underhill: Secondary has its moments, also its mistakes in win against Cowboys

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux gestures after being called for pass interference in the end zone against Cowboys wide receiver Brice Butler on Sunday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The penalty set up a 1-yard Cowboys touchdown on the next play.

The cavalry came back to solidify the secondary. It held tight, for the most part, but it still sprung leaks. Sunday’s performance wasn’t perfect. The most positive takeaway for the secondary from Sunday’s 26-20 victory over the Dallas Cowboys was that safety Jairus Byrd and cornerback Keenan Lewis were on the field. Having those guys… Continue reading →

Drew Brees’ 400th career touchdown pass gives the Saints a 26-20 overtime win over the Cowboys

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- In overtime New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws for his career 400th touchdown Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, to beat the Dallas Cowboys 26-20 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Drew Brees saved the New Orleans Saints from themselves Sunday night. Battling the aftereffects of a bruised rotator cuff, the franchise quarterback who has won so many games for the Saints was asked to win the same game twice. Brees responded both times with the kind of throws that have made him a legend, finally burying… Continue reading →

Saints fan caught in background of game broadcast pulling up his shirt, exposing his belly during Zach Hocker's missed game-winning field goal against Dallas

New Orleans Saints kicker Zach Hocker reacts after missing a field goal at the end of regulation with the game tied in the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

. Just when you think you have seen it all at a New Orleans Saints game. It's a moment that gets lost in the frustration of Saints placekicker Zach Hocker missing a game-winning field goal late in regulation of the team's 26-20 overtime win against the Dallas Cowboys. Apparently a Saints fan thought the kick… Continue reading →

Youth is served as Saints rookies pile up playing time

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Saints rookie middle linebacker Stephone Anthony puts a flying tackle on Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar while stopping him for a 1-yard gain during the first quarter Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The New Orleans defense is in the middle of a youth movement. No other team in the NFL has asked rookies to play more defensive snaps this season. Entering the Sunday night game, the Saints had played rookies on 340 snaps, and no other NFL team even topped the 300-snap mark. The good news is the… Continue reading →

Three and out: Saints 26, Cowboys 20, OT

1 What we learned C.J. Spiller is a player. He was frustratingly silent for most of the game outside of a stretch during the third quarter, but he earned his keep by shaking loose for an 80-yard touchdown during overtime to give the Saints their first victory of the season. There are going to… Continue reading →

NBC reports Saints guard Jahri Evans had his knee scoped

Jahri Evans might be out of action for a little while. The offensive lineman has missed two consecutive games with a knee injury. According to NBC, the guard had a scope performed on his knee. The nature of the operation is not known. Senio Kelemete has started in Evans’ place.… Continue reading →